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Computer Systems of North Bend Hit by a Ransomware Attack


Computer systems of North Bend city in Coos county of Oregon is up and working normally again, after falling victim to a ransomware cyber-attack that temporarily locked out the city workers of their computers as well as databases.


Terence O'Connor, Administrator of North Bend city, told The World that "one weekend morning a few weeks back all of our servers and things locked up, and we received a ransomware note that said for $50,000 in Bitcoin. Then these people would provide us with the code to unlock our computer systems".


The FBI was contacted by the city officials, as the city decided not to pay the ransom. Then the Federal Bureau of Investigation came and investigated about the ransomware virus attack that hit the North Bend city.


Although the FBI was not able to find anybody directly involved with the attack, the ransom demand was traced to Romania.


O'Connor said that the investigation of FBI discovered that the people who placed virus in system did that in the month of October. "It appeared to be a more sophisticated ransomware where there are two keys needed to unlock your system. One is planted on your system, the other the culprit has," said O'Connor.


Initially the Police Department of North Bend was targeted by the people who have planted the virus, but as many computers of the city were interconnected, the virus spread quickly throughout its system. O'Connor added that "the ransom note was directed at the police department, and it spread from their servers to ours. That's why in some cases people who would expect emails from us weren't getting any because we weren't sure what vector was causing the disease".


As the City of North Bend does back up their IT systems, so the officials have been able to avoid paying high ransom that the criminals responsible for the ransomware attack demanded. As per O'Connor, no data was lost in system lock out. "We've lost some time, and money to sanitize the computer systems," said O'Connor. O'Connor further added that City of North Bend is insured for this kind of cyberattacks, and thus they have to pay about $5,000 from pocket.


North Bend is enhancing their firewall security, in order to hopefully prevent this kind of incident in future.


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